When I read about the Farnsworth House a few years ago, I was so inspired that I sat down and wrote a poem: “so stunningly storybook simple!” It’s true. The story goes that that Dr. Edith Farnsworth, for whom the house was commissioned, asked Mies to design her a house as if he himself was going to live there. Preceding Philip Johnson’s Glass House and others, it was one of the first to stylistically implore a glass surface to immerse its owner in nature. ArchDaily recently did a review of the gorgeous structure calling it a classic, which, it most certainly is.

The article writes:

The single-story house consists of eight I-shaped steel columns that support the roof and floor frameworks, and therefore are both structural and expressive. In between these columns are floor-to-ceiling windows around the entire house, opening up the rooms to the woods around it. The windows are what provide the beauty of Mies’ idea of tying the residence with its tranquil surroundings. His idea for shading and privacy was through the many trees that were located on the private site. Mies explained this concept in an interview about the glass pavilion stating, “Nature, too, shall live its own life. We must beware not to disrupt it with the color of our houses and interior fittings. Yet we should attempt to bring nature, houses, and human beings together into a higher unity.”

In order not to disrupt the land, he raised the house 3-5″ off the ground, letting only the necessary steel columns touch. Here is the youtube video the article provided on the engineering of the building:

The house now serves as a crushing monument to global warming. Mies had built the house above where floods could reach it based on predictions of the next 150 years, but they launched themselves on the house much sooner, beginning 9 years after it was built, and with gaining frequency in the early nineties. There has been a discussion provoked about whether or not the house should be moved. As a site specific architectural installation, both moving the house or leaving it where it stands would be a travesty against the piece itself.

Also from ArchDaily recently: Lady Gaga wants a house too.
photo’s are from the ArchDaily article itself and were taken by Greg Robinson.

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